Portland by Air, 1928

Portland is showing off it’s just-completed westside seawall (and intercepting sewer system) in this 1928 aerial photo.

(City of Portland Archives)

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10 Responses to “Portland by Air, 1928”

  1. chuck Says:

    I guess the “completed project” was the seawall. Great photo.

  2. chuck Says:

    Obviously pre-Greyhound Depot. There’s a mansion behind the Pacific Building where the Executive Hilton now sits. And the old Portland Hotel is in the photo, too.

  3. Macky Wacky Says:

    I remember fishing off of the metal floating docks sometime in the mid 1970′s. I believe once they re-did Waterfront Park they either removed them or cut off access to them. The good old days. It looks like from that photo that Portland was really starting to transition to the modern city that it is now.

    I always wonder what it would be like to go back in time and see if I would stand out due to my vocabulary and/or look. Obviously I could not wear Nike’s, a hoodie, and Levi’s but still I wonder how much things have changed besides just the current fashions.

  4. Jim Says:


    That mansion behind the Pacific Building was the Henry Corbett house. Dan has a post here: http://vintageportland.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/henry-corbett-house/#comments

    The Pacific Building was built on widow Corbett’s side yard. The mansion was demolished in the 1930s to build the Greyhound bus depot.

    Thanks for providing the history of one of the last grand downtown mansions, Dan.

  5. Dan Davis Says:

    The year this photo was taken, 1928, was also the year that the first of Portland’s cast-iron buildings was demolished – the Bank of British Columbia building at SW Front and Ankeny. This photo shows the empty triangular lot; it had probably just come down.

  6. chuck Says:

    Thanks, Jim. That’s a fantastic photo of Meeker & the mansion.
    Wacky Macky, I never fished off those floating metal docks but went down onto them many times. Back in the 60′s, though, I never would’ve gone swimming in the Willamette!

  7. Jim Says:

    Chuck and Dan,

    The photo caption for the Corbett house post is “A typical residence, Portland, Oregon.” I’m not sure if that’s referring to the mansion or Meeker’s Conestoga wagon.

  8. Carter Kennedy Says:

    Also of interest are the ship docks on the east side of the river. Judging from the lack of traffic there, they were already falling into disuse by the time of the photo. Some of those foundations are incorporated into the East Bank Esplanade. And there is a railroad platform over the water near the area where the floating part of the esplanade now is.

    Notice the tug pulling the log raft under the Burnside Bridge. You don’t see those any more.

    I love the funny wedge-shaped building at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge.

  9. chuck Says:

    I was wondering if those log floats still went down the river. I guess not. Used to see a lot of those as a kid in the ’60s.

  10. JayinPortland Says:

    Macky Wacky – after a brief adjustment period, Marty McFly seemed to fit into 1955 pretty well!

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